Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Now what? Redux

A few weeks ago I wrote a post called "Now What?". My life since then has been almost all web 2.0 all the time. Work, school, free time – it has all been spent either learning about web 2.0 applications, trying to figure out how to use them most efficiently, and of course, keeping up with my Scrabulous games!

So, what do I feel about this "stuff" now?Flickr is still one of my favorite web 2.0 applications. I've spent the past few weeks playing around with an account for the library. This afternoon I sat with one of the children's librarians and showed her how to set up an account for their department too. I think, after we link from the library's webpage to the Flickr accounts, our pictures will be seen and enjoyed by more people. I know the pictures I've posted on my personal account have been looked at over and over again. I only have one complaint about Flickr : I'm a librarian, and I've already admitted to being a little fussy about things…I'd like to see deeper levels of organization available.

I'm coming around a little to Facebook, but still have a hard time seeing it used in any practical way in my current position. I know a lot of libraries have a presence on Facebook, but it doesn't feel like a good fit for the DFL right now. Our YA librarian is using it and just the other day was experiencing a great surge of interest from “her kids” after tagging some photos she uploaded on her page. As a personal social networking tool, I'm still a little bit on the fence. One of the things I find most fascinating about it is that even though I see my Facebook "friends" from work almost every day, and I'm involved in a Scrabulous game with almost all of them, we hardly ever mention our Facebook "relationships". I'm also still hoping for more meaningful professional connections, more network and a little less social. With that in mind, I'd love for my classmates to add me as a friend to their Facebook accounts so we can keep in touch while we continue down this path of higher education! I’d be especially interested in hearing how you apply the concepts we’ve been discussing in this class to your jobs.

One thing I am very excited about is IM Reference at the DFL. I just got the official go-ahead from the director to get the ball rolling on this project. (For my SCSU mates, there will me more detail in my Final Project on this at the end of the week.) We're going to go slowly with the staff and plan on doing the launch with the public for the start of the school year in September. I like IM; I wish I used it more. Today at lunch I was talking with a member of the circulation staff and she expressed an interest in using it in-house as well, so maybe there's some hope of adding another form of communication for the staff here.

I have no experience with Twitter but have been keeping an eye on it. I found a great example of a library using it as an event push and can finally see where we might be able to add this to our growing arsenal of technology. Nothing solid in the works yet, but I will definitely keep watching Twitter developments.

So, do I still feel like a Wallflower 2.0? Not exactly. But all of this immersion into web 2.0 applications, admittedly doubly concentrated because of this class, has made me wonder if I'm leaving real people and real relationships behind. I think a balance is what's needed, personally and professionally. Half of my day is spent at the reference desk assisting patrons. I love this part of my job just as much as I love playing with the tech stuff. I think if my entire day had to be spent on either of those, ie, all public service or all technology, I would not be a happy librarian. After this class is over I'm going to try to make sure at least half of my social interactions are done in person, or at least without a keyboard.

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